Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gadgets Writers Love

By Debby Giusti

Over the weekend, I sent out a call to the Seekers and other writers friends and asked them to tell me about the gadgets they love. Here are some of the replies I received as well as my own personal favorites.

I call myself a low-tech mama in a high-tech world so I encouraged simplicity and the KISS principle—Keep It Simple Seekers! For the record, I typed my first book on a manual typewriter—I was in third grade—and I still revert to pen and paper when scratching out the beginnings of a new book. Since technology is not my forte, important gadgets in my writing arsenal include paperclips, staplers and 3-ring binder notebooks.

So, let’s start at the beginning. I type my first drafts on an AlphaSmart. The sturdy and durable word processor has 8 files, which can each hold roughly 25 manuscript pages. The narrow screen and basic functions keep me moving forward, and once a file is full, I download the text to my computer. Created for school children, the AlphaSmart and newer version, NEO2, and upgraded DANA, are powered by batteries and seem indestructible.
Amazon author Sandy Elzie says her AlphaSmart is great “for by the pool or on the beach...times when I can't ‘plug in’ or I'm concerned about moisture. I've also used it in the car when we travel.”

She goes on to add, “For air travel, long-distance travel, conventions, etc., I have an HP mini-computer that I absolutely love. I can carry it in an over-sized purse or I have a small, light-weight carry case that's not much larger than carrying my Bible in a handled case. The HP has a seven-hour battery life, so it covers most of my needs, and I can get on the Internet, use a memory stick, etc, that I can't do with the AlphaSmart. It also fits easily in hotel room safes.” (Visit Sandy at and watch for her Oct release, In Daddy’s Shoes.)

Seeker Missy Tippens agrees. “One of my newest gadgets, purchased about a year ago, is a mini-laptop (netbook). The HP 12 inch comes with a long-lasting battery and weighs next to nothing. I can slip it in a large purse or a canvas bag, and I'm ready to go. The only drawback is that it's a little hard on my eyes. So I only use it when I travel. It's wonderful for Internet access and for doing work while on the road. Plus, I LOVE taking notes on it in workshops. No typing them up when I get home. ”

MAC enthusiast and fellow Seeker Julie Lessman says, “I don't have any ‘gadgets’ per se, but I would be LOST without my MacBook Pro laptop!! I was a PC user for years, and my husband was worried I wouldn't be able to convert, but I have and I absolutely LOVE it even though in some ways it is not as user-friendly as my PC.”

Our most prolific Seeker, Mary Connealy, said when asked about her favorite gadgets: “My laptop and my zip drive. I also use my camera a lot for photos for blog posts.”

Those of us who took part in the You Know You’re A Writer If….. Day on Seekerville, (see archives for July 21) may recall, in lieu of taking notes, Mary photographs the educational/information signs for the museum displays and keeps the digital photos on file to be referenced at her leisure.

Seeker Ruth Logan Herne is enthused about the Sony digital camera she received for Christmas. “It's got great definition, is pocket-sized, and it’s easy to upload the pics to my laptop and then use them on my blog or website.” Ruthy added, the digital camera is “small enough to take anywhere and you don't need a science degree to operate it.”

This summer, I purchased a Solo Rolling Briefcase and used it at the RWA National Conference in July. I was at the “other” hotel, which meant more walking so the briefcase on wheels was a lifesaver. It allowed me to cart my Goodie Room giveaways, conference program, handouts, notebooks and paperbacks without pain or strain.

Even though I struggle with technology, I am proof the old adage holds true—you can teach an old dog new tricks. In December, I upgraded to a BlackBerry! Easy access to my Web Mail is the big plus. I use the alarm clock function when traveling. The calendar keeps me on schedule, and the screen can be used as a mini-flashlight when I’m caught in the dark. I can call friends and family, and the camera option not only takes photos but stores them and sends them to others as well.

Myra Johnson says her favorite tool, other than her laptop, is her iPhone. “I love being able to handle e-mail and social networking while waiting in the doctor's office, on a road trip with my husband, sitting in the car while he fills the gas tank, while the ads are on during evening TV shows, etc. Being able to stay ahead of the ‘Internet game’ gives me more time for actually writing once I'm at my computer again.”

YA author Berta Platas, who writes with Michelle Roper as Gillian Summers, agrees with Myra about the iPhone: “I use my iPhone to record all kinds of things, from photos of book covers that I like, to spontaneous notes when the muse hits and I'm in the car. (I use the voice recorder for that--no texting behind the wheel!) I photograph houses I like and buildings for my characters to work in.” Berta creates collages or storyboards with the photos that provide a visual display of her work in progress. She also admits to having stalker traits. Berta secretly photographed a cute young guy at Borders, who looked like her imagined hero. “Hope no one saw me,” she says with an grin. (Check out Berta’s web site,, and her June 2010 release, Shadows of the Redwoods.)

Julie Lessman offers these tips. “I’m attached at the hip to my Rodale's Synonym Finder and to the Reverse Dictionary website which lets you type in a word and gives you every word that is similar. Very cool! The link is:”

Julie goes on to add, “One ‘gadget’ I always keep handy is a mirror so I can more easily write certain expressions by making faces in the mirror. Weird, I know.”
But cheap and easy to use. No technology involved. Thanks, Julie, for the most unique gadget in today’s blog.

Glynna juggles a day job and writing career and says, “My timer is an electronic gizmo I can't do without. I set it when I begin my daily writing so I won't lose track of time and be late for work. I set it for brainstorming sessions (like how many alternate scene endings or titles or whatever I can think up in 10 minutes), for housecleaning breaks (a "race" to see how much I can get done in periodic 15 minute allotments), and to remind me to move laundry from the washer to the dryer, to take supper out of the oven, to make phone calls, and a million other ‘reminder’ things that can slip by me when I'm immersed in my writing.”

“This isn't really a gadget," says Missy. "But it's some software I've found helps me plan a book. It's called Writer's Blocks (” Missy uses the virtual plotting board, which she arranges in columns to represent chapters. She describes the scenes in the chapters and writes a brief summary in each block and color codes them, either pink or blue, according to the POV character. “You can download a trial if you're interested,” she adds. “And no, I don't get anything for referring you!”

Love Inspired Historical author Linda Ford uses TextAloud (, a program that reads aloud from a document. “I find it helpful as one of the final steps in polishing a manuscript,” Linda says. The program provides a selection of voice types. “It doesn't matter what voice I use, they are all boring. And that is half the benefit. I hear the words and the structure without becoming enraptured with the story. I have to admit I hate the whole process, but I once kept track of all the little things I fixed while doing this and it was a very significant amount. So I force myself to endure the read through.” (Visit Linda online at Look for her latest release, Dakota Cowboy, July 2010.)

Dragon Naturally Speaking ( a voice recognition program Love Inspired Author Barbara McMahon enjoys using. “I speak into the microphone and it types on the page.” Barbara had hoped the program would increase her productivity, but admits, “My mind only thinks in groups of ten pages. I never got more than an extra page or two with the DragonSpeak than I would have by typing.” (Visit Barbara at and watch for The Firefighter’s Doorstep Baby, Nov 2010.)

“I love my Kindle,” says Love Inspired Author Stephanie Newton. “I email my manuscript file to myself when I'm in the final editing stage. It looks more like the printed page than the computer screen, so I catch different things.You can't make changes on the Kindle, but I keep my computer file up and running and make changes as I go.” (Check out Stephanie’s web site,, and pick up her Nov 2010 novella, Christmas Target, featured in HOLIDAY HAVOC.)

Share your favorite gadgets and leave a comment and your email to be entered into a drawing for a $10 Starbucks Gift Card and one of my books, title of your choice.
The coffee is on thanks to Ruthy. She brought her Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker. Select your favorite brew and enjoy.

Ruthy claims she doesn’t have stock in the company, but here’s her hard sell: “A perfect cup of coffee every time, for $.42/cup and a splash of creamer, it's an amazing machine with no waste, no fuss, no bother and K-cups (the little individual cups) are available everywhere now and often on sale for $9.99 for a box of 16 or 18.”

The breakfast bar is open for business. Eggs, sausage, biscuits and honey, hash browns, toast and jelly, and grits! Dig in!

Wishing you abundant blessings,

Debby Giusti

THE OFFICER’S SECRET, Book One, in Debby’s new series, Military Investigations, is arriving at the Steeple Hill office in New York today and will be on sale in May 2011.


  1. Wow! I've really been reminded just how sheltered I am with this post! I thought I was moving up in the world when I got my laptop this year! :)
    There were lots of great ideas, though, that I will now be checking out.

  2. I'm in the dark ages as far as technology (I don't have a texting phone, still use paper calendars and have only had a laptop for a couple years and its a dinosaur)but I've been dying to know--for those of you who use these little gadgets like Iphones and Blackberries etc., if your eyesight isn't the best, how in the world do you utilize them? I would expect in this day and age you can change the font, but how would you see more than a word or two in that teensie little window? I can't seem to wrap my head around people using these itty bitty things for email or even using productivity applications.

    Signed, Too Old For Mini-Technology.

  3. The coffee pot's on for morning.

    Some of these gadgets are familiar to me. Others are not.

    A little item that I like is my pen with a light on the end. I keep it and a notepad in the headboard of the bed so that, if I get a thought in the night that I don't want to lose, I can scribble it down without turning on a bright light.

    I've read all your books except
    Killer Headline, which I won from Sandra and still have on my TBR pile. Can't read it until I read the first of that series, which I picked up while I was visiting my daughter last week.

    Keep'em coming.


  4. Morning, all, and fun blog, Deb!! I got lots of good ideas to put on my Christmas list too, which is ALWAYS good!!

    Bluerose, honey, you ARE moving up if you have a laptop, in my opinion. I just got mine this year too, and it makes me feel like a big girl and a "real" writer!! :)

    BK, I'm with you on those itsy-bitsy screens. I told my hubby that I want an I-pad, but I'd want it to be a phone too. Except I guess it would look pretty stupid up against my ear ... :)

    And, Helen, a pen with a light is a GREAT idea!! Somebody actually gave me a cheap little flashlight that also had a recorder in it, so I put it by my bed and when I'd get an idea in the middle of the night (which happens A LOT!), I'd whisper it into this recorder, but it would wake my husband up every single time! And actually, I felt pretty stupid talking into it in the dark. :)


  5. My favorite gadget is the lock on my office door.

    Sadly, it's a French door, which means I can see the sad faces of my children as they press their noses against the glass as they yell, "What are you doing?"

    Fortunately, my second favorite gadget is the JVC headphones that oldest son convinced me to buy instead of the earbuds I'd wanted to help me "listen" to the computer read my manuscript. Wise child. See, now I can put the headphones on and my children think I can't hear them. Nor will I inform them otherwise. Ignorance is bliss. Unless they're bleeding profusely (must be profusely as in buckets at a time), unable to breathe for more than two minutes, have a broken bone preferably that hinders ability to walk or wash dishes, or are having a heart attack which much be real not caused by massive exposure to pictures of Ryan Reynolds in or out of his Green Lantern suit.

    With children, one must expect and plan counter measures for fake illnesses.

    The third favorite gadget is the themometer. See, no matter what ill my children claim they have, it's amazing how a 98.6 on thermometer lends futility to their supposed deathly sickesses and insistances of starvation.

    And that leads to the fourth gadget: the microwave.

    A keen invention made better by the Pampered Chef "magic pot."

  6. Gina--ROFL on the lock!

    I love my alphasmart. I've written all my books on it.


  7. Hmmm...favorite gadgets? Well, I'm with the laptop crowd--it's been very helpful, especially now that I'm in college (and now that I have a blog!). ;) My iPod is handy for instant inspiration on the road, and I love those flash drives that allow you to save your work so you don't have to worry if your computer DOES happen to go crazy!

    And now for a random note: Ruthy is visiting my blog today to help us celebrate County Fair Week--and she's giving away a copy of Made to Order Family! So please come by and say hello! :D Here's the URL of the post:

    In honor of Ruthy, I'll share some funnel cakes and cheesy fries with ya'll. ;)

    Hope everyone has a great day!



  8. So far no one has mentioned a voice recorder. Once you get past the awful and thoroughly embarrassing aspect of hearing your voice, I've found it helps me find problem areas and repeated words/phrases.

    I can read a page ten times and still not catch something till I have to read the words aloud. Playing it back later helps me catch other yuckies.

    I believe I have the ability to download those chapter recordings to my computer and ITouch but haven't done that yet.
    Ewww, even more embarrassing...

    Thanks Debby!

    debraemarvin (at yahoo)

  9. Great to hear there is a new series in the works!

    And I love the gadget that speaks the text. I have used Dragon in past but didn't know there was something in reverse.

    My favorite gadget is a Braun Emulsion Blender. A small mixer, chopper, emulsifier that lets me puree fruit or soup, chop nuts and onions, mix up a smoothie in no time without a big, bulky machine!

    And I have an ergonomic keyboard that has spared my poor hands. Can't do without it either.

    Still don't have a laptop. Keep waiting to go through a few generations before I invest. And I want a Droid for the fun of it.

    Peace, Julie

  10. Gina--I love the lock on your office and microwave! So true.

    My number one gadget is the zip drive. To carry practically a computer from home to work or on vacation is the best invention. Next would be my IPOD so I can have music going 24/7. The Kindle has changed my life. I resisted it, thinking it blasphamy not to hold an actual book in my hands. But I got one as a Christmas present and was recruited the minute I turned it on. The only problem, it makes buying books way too easy. And of course the laptop. I would never go back to the PC.

    Stephanie Newton's idea about the Kindle is great! I'll have to try that out.

    Thanks Debby!

  11. Fun post, Debby, with some great tips for gadgets! I have an Alpha smart. Great for the car and fun to watch type my words in my desktop.

    Love my Blackberry. Keeps me on top of e-mails when I'm away. Though I'll admit I don't know how to use all of its functions. Need to visit

    I'm with you on the timers, Glynna! So easy to get caught up in the story and forget the time.

    I have a wireless mouse sitting on my desk. My newest gadget that has yet to be installed.

    Breakfast if delicious. Thanks Deb!!


  12. Hi Bluerose!
    Sounds as if you're a low-tech mama like me! Don't be overwhelmed. The gadgets help simplify our least usually.

    Thanks for leaving your email. You're in the drawing!

    Did you get a cup of coffee?

  13. GINA SAID: My favorite gadget is the lock on my office door.

    Grin ... have I ever told you just how much I love you, kid??? You make me laugh as much as Mary Connealy, and that's saying something! :)

    Lovin' all the gadgets -- we have a creative bunch here for sure!


  14. Hi BK,
    I wasn't going to get a BlackBerry, but my daughter encouraged me and I love it! And I can read the text with my glasses. When I go into the Net and try to read blogs, etc, the print is a bit small, but I can enlarge it a little and make it readable. With so many emails coming in, the BB allows me to keep updated throughout the day even when I'm not at my computer, which helps so much.

  15. Thanks, Helen, for your kind words about my writing.

    Your pen with light combo sounds like something I need. Where did you find it? Is there an online link you can send us?

    I love my little reading light for when my hubby is asleep and I want to keep reading Seeker books! :) He can be in the dark, yet I've got enough light to read!

  16. Julie,
    Love the visual of you holding an iPad to your ear! Cute!

    A recording flashlight? As Ruthy would say, WOWZA!!!!

    Thanks, Jules, for your mirror tip. I'm headed to the store today to buy a make-up mirror for my desk. Won't I look cute making faces! Hubby will think the deadlines have gotten to me.

  17. Gina,
    We know you love your children....although....? :)

    Earphones and a Magic Pot! Both necessary writer gadgets, for sure.

    What read-aloud program do you use?

  18. YAY, Camy!!! Another AlphSmart girl!!! I love mine. It goes everywhere with me, just in case I have a few minutes to pound out a line or two.

  19. Morning, And wow, more gadgets to go find. I love all the ideas.

    I'm with the AlphaSmart crowd. Love my Mac Notebook as it can go anywhere. And flashdrives are great.

    But I'm like you Debby. Pen and paper. I can't walk out of Office Max without new pens, paper, colored paper clips. Even if I don't need them. I just love em.

    Post its are probably my most favorite. Especially in colors and with cute birdies or something on them. I use them for everything. My hubby claims I even put them on his forehead. LOL

    Breakfast is yummy. Coffee great too.

  20. Hi Amber,
    Have fun with Ruthy today. Keep her in line, would you? And tell her she needs to show up in Seekerville as well.

    Sounds like you have all the latest gadgets, Amber.

    Love flash drives! Great invention.

    I can smell the funnel cake. Yum! Thanks!

  21. Thanks for all the great tips, Debby. That WritersBlocks site of Missy's is really interesting and great for the 'visual' thinker (aka-ME)

    My laptop is my most important tech-tool, but I also use my digital camera a lot. Kind of like Mary - to get research info, even to pick up the way the light 'hits' something so I can describe it later. The picture is never the same as 'in person', but it's sure better than nothing :-)

    I'm also a recent OneNote junkie. That is a FABULOUS and FREE tool on Windows97. And it's a visual organization system. I can use all the help in that category as I can get! :-)

    I love the idea of Dragon NAturally Speaking & the Alpha Smart (both of which I recommend to my kids on the Autism spectrum, btw, but have never used for writing)

    Sometimes i'll use my hand-held digital recorder when I'm driving and get an idea for dialogue, but most of the time I just jot it down in the notebook while at a stoplight ;-) Yes, very UN-techy ;-)

    Thanks for the new tips. pepperbasham(at)yahoo(dot)com

  22. Can I just say, there is a reason I write historicals? I'm not that old, but I just don't see myself ever checking emails on a phone while driving down the road. In fact, I'm having a hard time picturing myself using a computer while on a trip. I mean, the idea of taking a trip is to get away from computers and email. ISN'T IT!?! Seriously, sometimes I think I'm the only earthling and the rest of the people on this planet are Martians. Am I the only person who feels this way?

    You all are nodding and saying yes.

    Like I said, there's a reason I write historicals.

  23. Gina,
    A kindred spirit!!

    Though, the Ryan Reynolds picture responses might cause hospitalization - not that I know personally of course.


  24. Yeah, I'm definitely low tech. But I am trying to get better. I have two daughters who will help me get more high tech.

  25. Sigh, I'm about the least gadgety person around. I don't even own a cell phone never mind a blackberry. I've never texted anyone in my life, don't even IM. Am I a fuddy duddy or what?

    The writing item I swoon over is yellow, lined newsprint pads. Be still my heart! I even love the smell of them! Pair it with a smooth ballpoint pen and I'm in heaven!!! Pathetic, I know...but hey, I never run out of batteries!

    I have a question about the Alphasmart though. Why do you prefer it over a laptop or notebook when you're traveling? Aren't they just as light?

    Oh and thanks for introducing me to a new YA fantasy author!!!!!

  26. I'd have to say my favorite gadgets are my laptop, which I can't seem to write without...and Earl Grey tea from Caribou Coffee.

  27. Great post. I'm checking out the links to see if I can find another tool to make my writing easier and perhaps better.


  28. My laptop is of course the best thing since sliced bread. Love my iPod for listening to author podcasts and music that inspires.

    And my favorite writing invention...the husband. Tirelessly (OK, maybe with a slightly irritated sigh) he listens to me read my work aloud. I catch a lot of my mistakes in reading out loud...and what other opportunity does he have to get asked to tell me when I'm wrong.

  29. Debbie,
    Tell us about your voice recorder? Is it a program or a tape recorder?

    I used a small, battery-operated tape recorder when I interviewed folks for magazine articles. I'd replay the tape at home and type up the comments made so I could quote them accurately.

    Now, because technology has advanced, it's difficult to find those little recorders. (Have you noticed portable radios are not for sale either?)

    So, do tell, Deb, what you use! And do you read your entire story or only the portions that you feel need additional work?

  30. Hi Julie,

    Fix something for us in your Braun Emulsion Blender, okay? Lunch will be served at noon. Sound good?

    Ah, an ergonomic keyboard! That's a gadget I need. Do you have a brand you like? How long did it take you to get comfortable using it?

  31. Kav, replying with the understanding that I have only had ONE laptop in my entire life, but AlphaSmarts are MUCH lighter to travel with than any laptop. Perhaps the recent netbooks are comparable, I don't know. But for portability, you can't beat an AlphaSmart.

  32. Kirsten!

    You're a savvy lady. Sounds like you are using technology to lighten your load. Zip drives, yes!

    Maybe I need an iPod.

    And a Kindle. I dug in my heels for a long time, saying--like you, Kirsten--that I wanted to hold the book I read. Now, I keep thinking how handy to download a number of books into one little gadget. Maybe the pile of paperbacks on my nightstand would be a thing of the past.

    Everyone, who loves their Kindle, raise you hand!

  33. Hi Janet,

    I just went there. Very nice. Thanks for the tip!

    Another Alpha-girl! YAY!

  34. Janet, you mentioned a wireless mouse! I love mine.

    Wish I had bought a wireless printer. That's next.

  35. One favorite gadget of mine is the Fly Fusion Pen. It records what you write, and you draw these little menus & keyboards & drums....
    Absolutely no constructive use to it at all, it's just a fun tech toy time waster.

    As for the dark ages, we almost bought an AlphaSmart, but then my husband crashed a laptop, so we reconfigured it to Word only-- no internet, no dvd's, no distractions. But I need to buy Word 2007-- does anyone know anything about OneNote? It's supposed to be a writer's program from Microsoft that organizes your characters, plot, etc.

    As for coffee, I blew up two coffeepots today. All by myself. So many, many thanks to everybody with coffee this morning.

    Thanks Debby! I'm checking out some of those sites now.

  36. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for stopping back. Did you grab another cup of coffee?

    Where's Ruthy? Oh, that's right, she's visiting Amber today. Waving to you girls!

    Julie Hilton Steele is bringing in lunch at noon! I'm getting hungry. Any grits left?

  37. Post It Notes, yes! Love them, Sandra. I have drawers full of them...and I always want more.

    Like paper. I think I have a paper fetish.

    Anyone use Crane notes? So rich. So nice.

    I use a Pilot Precise Grip Rolling Ball pen when I write my thank yous. Makes the script look like I've used a fountain pen.

    Love mechanical pencils, especially BIC Pencils, #2 lead 0.7mm.

    Can anyone recommend a good ballpoint pen for note taking? I can't find a brand I like. Not the gels. They smear at times.

  38. Hi Pepper,
    Love your tip about taking photos to capture light on a particular structure, building, etc. Great!!!

    My daughter teaches autistic children who use AlphaSmarts. Such a multi-purpose device! I noticed their web site has changed from years ago. At first the focus was mainly on the kids. Now they've incorporated writers into their market reach. Well, duh!

    I need to look into OneNote. Sounds like something I could use.

    What type of recorder do you have?

  39. Debby, my recorder is a little Olympus digital recorder. I can record chapter by chapter and then play them back or edit/erase each one. I sometimes have to read the instructions again because I don't use it often enough.

    There are many versions of them at a range of prices. It's no bigger than a cell phone, either.

    And I have the cord to download them as audio files to my computer, but I've never done that. I wouldn't mind trying that and seeing if they'd also go to my ITouch.

  40. I've done some serious looking at alpha smart, then what I wanted was so close to a mini computer in cost I almost switched over to buying a Netbooks. Then when I was looking at the Netbooks, there were the full sized laptops for not that much more.
    So I worked my way up from Alpha Smart to laptop somehow. And I love my laptop but it's a bit LARGE to haul through airports. I've got a rolling suitcase for it but the things good sized. I'd really like to get it all smallerized somehow.

    Doubt I will. My laptop is nice and functional and I expect to keep it for it's lifetime, which I hope is long.

  41. My favorite gadget is my blue Dell laptop. My folks bought it for me this year to replace my hand-me-down laptop. I didn't realize how sad my old laptop was until I got a new one.

    Did you know it's possible for a laptop to work longer than an hour without requiring an ice-pack to cool its overheated power cord? ;)

    Other than my laptop, I'm very low tech. I still prefer using paper and a pen for taking notes and jotting down ideas.


  42. Hey Melanie,
    I didn't move easily into the world of technology and gadgets. But...anything to make the work go more smoothly.

    I feared the BlackBerry would tie me more tightly to email. But it's actually freed me from anxiety when I can't get to my computer. Now when I log on, I don't cringe, expecting to find 500 unread messages. In those "down" moments throughout the day, I can read two or three emails on my BB and stay caught up.

    Don't you take paper and pencil or pen wherever you go? The Alpha is like that...easy to use at a moment's notice. After all, we never know when inspiration will strike.

  43. Hi Debby,

    OneNote is a great for the organizationally challenged and it's like create a visual notebook for each novel. I have a section for character pictures, research, location pictures, scenes, etc.

    My digital recorder is a Linear PCM, (which can also download audio info from the internet like an MP3). It's new to me, so I'm learning all the quirks. For example, a few weeks ago it recorded 3 hours of audio info from inside my kitchen without me even knowing.

    I didn't figure it out until I was on my way to work the next morning and kept 'hearing voice' from my purse (very weird, they usually come from inside my head). It took a bit of detective work, but I found the source and giggled the rest of the way to work. I have a VERY noisy house :-)

  44. Debby, I got the logitech wave but with the cord because it was cheaper. But I love the feel of this, have bought two so far. Other than that, you really do have to try them out to see what you like. I can't go back to a regular keyboard. It drives me crazy when I have to use one at the library or elsewhere. And it solved my carpal tunnel problems. Didn't take long to get used to. If you type for a living, you get used to it quickly.

    I meant to say in my post that I was waiting for a few generations of an Ipad. But my husband says I don't even use my Ipod.

    Lunch via Braun blender? Starting off, we have peach cream soup with the last of the summer's crop. Next up, a caprese salad (tomatos and mozzarella) with a blended olive oil and basil dressing topped with spiced, chopped walnuts. For dessert, chocolate mousse. For the carnivores, I guess I better add barbecued chicken made with my motherinlaw's secret sauce.

  45. Kav,
    I'm with you about lined paper. Love it. Love the feel. Love the smell.

    The AlphaSmart can be dropped, stepped on, jammed into a suitcase or a tote bag, and it withstands the stress. The main thing is that the Alpha is a basic word processor. You type text and it's saved in a file, which can be downloaded into a computer. It keeps me from editing so I type in a free flow that allows inspiration to take over, IMHO. That's the beauty of the Alpha. Plus, I can use it anywhere. It doesn't need to be plugged in or booted up. And the batteries last for months.

  46. Deb-ster, I do love my children. More during the school year, which has me pondering moving to Florida or somewhere there's year-round school. My older three kids have blamed child #4 for for all the messes around the house. I defended the poor thing.

    Until this summer.

    Egad! She's a mess-maker. Must be her superhero skill. The ability to create messes without even trying to do it. Spontaneous combustion.

    Sadly, even the toddler is blaming her slightly-older sister for the messes. sweet moment is when I crawl in bed. Usually two or three of my three younger kids climb in with me. All of us have a book to read. And we do. Even when the dog is laying on our feet snoring...or passing gas.

    Then hubby arrives for bedtime and the children (okay, one or two of the three) scatter.

    I've trained all my kids to have the routine of reading a chapter or few before going to bed.

    Still, occasionally, I like the lock on the bedroom door too. Sadly hubby knows where to find the key to break in.

  47. Erica,
    Ah, a smart woman! A laptop and Earl Grey tea from Caribou Coffee! A nice combination.

    I sometimes take my Alpha to Starbucks. Makes me feel I'm with friends but still working. Plus, the coffee keeps me focused.

  48. Linda,
    Thanks for your tip about the TextAloud. Sounds like a great program. Love the idea of being able to choose a certain voice--how 'bout tall, dark and handsome! :)

  49. Julie,
    You mentioned reading your text aloud to hubby. Next time have him read it back to you!

    Hmmm? Where's my husband?

    Honey...I've got 257 pages you need to read back to me!

  50. Thanks for including me in your gadget sweep, Debby! I've been making notes (on a sticky note) of the smart ways to stay organized. I have an Alphasmart, too, but I seldom use it. Not sure why. I got one for my sister because she used to spend so much time in carpool lanes waiting for soccer, hockey, orchestra, band, etc. to let out. She loves it! I love the Kindle app on my iPhone, but it's too easy to blow my budget on fun books. One thing I won't get - a mirror. I'd be forever startled by glimpses of that woman on the other side of my desk. KAV, thanks for the interest! I hope if you read one of the books that you let me know what you think of it!

    And Debby, best breakfast ever. I haven't gained an ounce.

  51. BK, you're right!

    If you're like me, your "life" seems to be on your laptop. Yikes! I could lose an Alpha and replace it easily. Worst case, I'd be out a few files.

  52. I don't think it could qualify as a gadget, but one thing I keep next to my computer is a little alphabet cube (the kind that comes with the Scattergories game). I can't tell you how many times I reach for it and roll it to force my mind out of a rut.

    And wow! I love the OneLook reverse dictionary! I added it to my tool bar.

  53. Hi Pamela,

    WOW! A pen that has a memory! What will they think of next?!!

    See Pepper for info about OneNote.

    Pepper, we all want more info. Someone call her and get her back online.

  54. Pepper, high-five me girl on the Ryan Reynolds reference. My oldest son decided he has a man-crush on RR. Being the loving mom I am, I watch all the RR movies with him that I can. :-)

    Debby, the voice-reading program I use is the basic Natural Reader free one.

    It's a tad better than the installed MS Word voice that came with Windows 7, but it still sounds computer-ish. When I finally sell a book, I'm gonna buy an upgraded Natural Reader voice or two. I want an English and a Scottish one to help me hear the sound of my English and Scottish characters.

    I bought the earphones so that I could concentrate better on listening to the voice reading of my manuscript.

    Yes, this helps me find missing words and such. But more importantly it helps me hear the rhythm of my narrative.

    I'm trying to think of what book I read recently (wasn't one of Mary's or Julie's Denied) that had an awkward choppiness to the narrative. Wasn't any of the Bethany House books either.

    Anyhoo, the point is, yes, writers need to evaluate how the narrative appears visually on a page. (White space, breaking up paragraphs) There's also power in hearing the story read by not you the author.

    Oh, I just remembered the choppy book. Wasn't CBA. Was a newer release by an ABA romance author who I'm convinced she should have hired a ghostwriter instead of writing it herself. Maybe her editor didn't edit. The quality of writing was so far below par compared to her other novels. Actually similar to her first few books. Hmm.

    So back to the voice reader...

    I love using it because it's helped me catch awkward phrasing and convoluted sentences. Little nuance tweaks make a big difference in strengtening an author's voice.

  55. DEB!!!!

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

    Here's the link to the digital recorder you recommended:

    Just what I need!!!! Cyber hugs headed your way!

  56. OK, I feel Rrreallly old-fashioned here, but my greatest gadget is my new desk-top PC that is super fast and has a giant screen. Before that I was chiseling words into stone and writing on papyrus---or so it felt with a Stone-Age computer and a dial-up connection. That's right. I just got high-speed internet 16 months ago.

    At this point I'm not interested in a lap-top. I have to have a space where I can sequester myself away from my family and noise and distraction. My sweet hubby turned a little-used guestroom into a home office for me, complete with a giant roll-top desk, the new computer, and my favorite paint color on the walls.

    Really. Call me old-fashioned :-)

  57. Hey Mary,
    I did the same as you...started out looking at the netbooks. For a bit more, I got a new laptop.

    Regrettably, I thought I wanted the larger screen. But it's hard to carry.

    Now, I'm thinking of getting a smaller travel laptop, if I can find a good buy. Maybe I'll end up with a netbook after all. Missy always seems so happy with hers. I'd see her in all the workshops at RWA Nationals, typing away on her little HP.

  58. Hey Angela,

    I still have my old laptop up and running. When I switch back to that older technology, it seems as if I've stepped back in time.

    That's why Mary C will end up getting a new laptop one of these days, no matter what she thinks now.

    Shhhhh...don't tell her I said that. :)

  59. Okay, the other day I commented about liking Myra spreadsheets. I like how Myra has her screenshots.,_Writer/Novel_Workbook_Screenshots.html

    Only her download worksheet is of one chart. So I had to make my own Excel file similar to her one for names. I am so utterly not-computer saavy. (Yes, high-five me, Melanie!) I kinda wish Myra would have a downloadable file of each of her separate screenshots so I wouldn't have to adjust the one file. Which I haven't done except for the name file.

    Yes, I'm planning on taking a free Excell workshop at the local libarary this fall. Might take one on MS Word too.

  60. Oh, wait!

    Mary said she would keep her laptop for ITS lifetime.

    I thought she said she'd keep it for HER lifetime.

    My mistake!

    Again, don't tell her!

  61. Well, I'm not *that* old-fashioned. I do have a digital camera and an I-pod that I use a lot. But I also love post-it notes, spiral notebooks, and 3-ring binders.

    Forgot to leave my email:


  62. Pepper,
    Thanks for the heads up about OneNote. Also your recorder.

    How funny to have it record on its own. Okay, I need to use that in a book. Of course, I'll have to turn it into a twist that makes the crazed killer attack the heroine. Where's the hero? He's drinking coffee with Ruthy! YIKES!

    I've had too much caffeine.

  63. Thanks, Julie!

    Here's a link for the Logitech Wave keyboard she mentioned:

    Runs about $80. Looks good. The website says it has Curve Appeal. Cute!

  64. OH MY GOSH, JULIE!!!



    Thank you so much!!! Everyone grab a plate.

  65. Gina,
    You are too cute!

    Of course, I know you're a great mom!

    But even moms need a little space...and a lock on the door.

    Love the visual of you with the little ones snuggled up in bed reading!

    Would it be the same with a Kindle?

  66. Hi Berta!

    Thanks for stopping by today...and for your great input to the blog.

    Carpool lines and AlphaSmarts are a perfect mix!

    You're an office gal. Bet you have a laptop at your fingertips at all times. No wonder you don't use your Alpha!

    Grab some lunch! Julie did us proud. And, as you mentioned, no weight gain ever.

  67. Okay, I could see how it would be helpful to be able to check a few emails when you're waiting in line somewhere. Some day I really am going to join the high tech world. When I'm rich. Ha. But I'll still probably always be behind.

  68. Teri
    Your "little alphabet cube" must free up your muse.

    My son had some type of toy like that. Not sure if it was a Scattergories.

    Maybe I should find it and put it next to my new mirror.

  69. Hi Debby,

    I'm really not that savvy, but I have a tech geek for a brother. He tells me about all these great inventions and how I really need them. I ignore him. He either buys said invention for my Christmas present, or passes down his "out-of-date" one. Then I have to choke out that he was ri--ght. :o)

    And really the Kindle is the best. It remembers where you are in all the books you're reading, no matter how many. And, yes, the nightstand by the bed is cleared off!!

  70. GINA!!!!

    I just bookmarked the Natural Reader site.

    Everyone needs to take a look. You can cut and paste up to 200 characters and the text will be read back while you're on the site. No download needed.

    I plugged in: I LOVE GINA!!!

    Did you hear it? A nice gentleman--tall, dark and handsome, no doubt--read the words back to me.

    How fun is that!!!

    I'm hooked.

  71. Mary Bailey,
    Can we all come and work in your office? Sounds lovely.

    Hug your hubby! He's a jewel!!!

    Lucky you!

    Okay, my hubby's a jewel too. BTW, he's still reading the 257 pages back to me.

    But he's had lunch, thanks to Julie, so he's happy!

  72. Okay, so in March when my FIL and MIL drove out here to help hubby build a home theatre in the basement, my FIL brought his Kindle for me to test out.

    I tried. Couldn't get the thing to work. Really, I'm not *that* technologically inept, right?

    So when FIL asked me how I liked reading on the Kindle, I confessed I couldn't get the thing to work.

    He then gave me a quick tutorial.

    Who knew the Kindle didn't have a touch screen?! No wonder the thing wouldn't work for me. I had to use manual buttons.


    How 1983.

    I'll buy a Kindle when the screen is touch operated like an i-Pad is.


    Now you know why people look at me strange when I say I don't have a mobile phone or when it takes me five minutes to send a five-word text message.

  73. Gina, you had me fooled. I thought you were a high-tech mama!

    I'll contact Myra and see if she can help you! :)

  74. Hey Mary!

    You have an iPod!!!

    I don't.

    Maybe I need one?


    I use the 3-ring binders when I print off my manuscript in the final stages. Having it in semi-book form in the binder allows me to flip through the pages and insure my pacing works, that I haven't repeated myself, etc. Also love my 3-ring hole punch that allows me to insert the pages into the binder.

  75. Kirsten,
    How fun to have a techy brother.

    I'm an only child. Pooh! No help in sight.

    You're talking me into a Kindle.

  76.'ve published...doesn't that mean you're rich?


  77. Gina,
    Your father-in-law has a Kindle? That's interesting. Who would have thought?

    Aren't Kindles a girl toy?

    And there's no touch screen? Pooh!

    I want it to have a night light attached as well.

  78. I love that we're brewing K-cup coffee on my Keurig! Perfect, Debs!!!!

    I'll take a Gloria Jean's Butter Toffee with Italian Sweet Cream creamer and half a sugar.

    Make that two half-sugars.

    Be quiet, Connealy.

    Deb, how fun is this? I love my gadgets.




  79. Just received the following email from Carolyn Aarsen about the voice programs she uses:

    "I used MacSpeech which is an awesome program and based on Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking platform which I have also used extensively. I use it for e-mail and, when I'm stuck on the writing, for working on my books. It takes a bit of training, but not near as much as it used to. For Windows, just used Dragon Naturally Speaking. It is really quite amazing how accurate it is."

  80. Hi Ruthy,
    Thanks for stopping by. The coffee's great! Love the Keurig!

  81. Another email today. This one's from Pat McDonald:

    I use Dragon Naturally Speaking. I like it because it gives my carpel tunnel a much needed rest. I don't use it all the time, just when I'm writing the first draft of my book. I've also noticed it doesn't work as well when I'm tired. Guess I slur my words. I'm constantly learning its quirks. In my current wip I have a character named Kyle. Frequently, when I say his name the program jumps up to open "file" in my Word program. It's easy to say "undo" and go back to where you were but it's annoying. So, never name a character anything that sounds like file, cut, paste, print, etc.

    For all the quirks it's a great program and I find I have less revising to do on my second draft. It seems like my mouth works out what sounds best before my fingers do.

  82. Deb, actually my BIL was the first in the family to buy a Kindle. Up until then, he hadn't read a fiction book since college and he was 45+. He started with a Ted Dekker book and is now a fanatical fiction reader.

    Which convinced my FIL to buy a Kindle. My MIL has one too but she's not much of a reader.

    I downloaded the Kindle app for PCs. I like it, although I've heard the Nook app is better. Either way, the app makes reading e-books easier. I now have a good dozen e-books on my laptop.

    While I'm still a die-hard paperback reader, it's nice occasionally reading a book on my computer.

    Now I'd better get back to judging for the Golden Rose and Golden Pen. Why, oh, why didn't I insist on inspirational entries?!

  83. Sorry, I misspelled Pat's last name. It's Pat MacDonald.

    Thanks, Pat, for the great info!!!!

  84. My favorite gadgets are my laptop and iPhone. I like how they are portable. I'm actually liking my phone more now since I can check my email or the web wherever I go. But sometimes it's handy just to use my pen and notebook for writing ideas or scenes down.
    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

  85. Gina,
    Nice to hear the Kindle turned your BIL into a reader.

  86. Thanks for the link, Debby.

    I think I bought my digital recorder at Staples. Not as many choices but you can compare and shop online and then go look them over in person and walk out with it.

  87. I lost a comment into cyber space!

    Cynthia, looks like Smart Phones are a hit with all of us!

    Laptops, too, of course!

    Deb, thanks for the tip on where to find the recorder!

  88. Hi, all. I've been out running a SLEW of errands this morning. It's been a crazy, crazy week.

    LOVE this post, Deb! What fun ideas--several I plan to investigate further one of these days!

    Gina??? I'm confused. I assumed the entire Excel file would download, not just individual worksheets. Let me check it out and get back to you.

  89. Okay, Gina, when I click on "download" on my Website, I get the ENTIRE workbook with ALL my various spreadsheets. Not sure what's happening when you try.

    Here is the link again: Myra's Novel Planning Workbook

    Be sure to click on "download HERE." And then check across the bottom of your Excel window for the individual worksheet tabs. You may have to hit the side arrows in each direction to view them all.

  90. I'm with Missy on this one -- my favorite new gadget is my netbook. Love my laptop, but it's pretty bulky for travel (17" widescreen). I just got the netbook and took it to the Philly conference last week. Perfect size for traveling. Plus, it has an 8-hour battery so I took notes without getting caught in the web of laptop cords.

    My digital recorder used to live in the car, but that was when I spent about 3 hours/day commuting. Very handy for interviews or sudden ideas.

    I also take lots of pix on trips for potential research. DH and I visited a museum during our anniversary trip in the spring and I took lots of pix – dresses, quilts, buggies, signage, whatever. Once we uploaded to the PC his only comment was, “You sure took a lot of pictures in the museum.” He’s learning. :-)

  91. I wish I were not so techy challenged. Great blog, Deb!

    I'm fond of my Alphasmart because I'm not tempted to go back and edit or to browse online. LOL! Anything to deter distraction.

    BK, I LOLd at your sig line.

    Too old too,


  92. Helen, I missed your coffee yesterday! Mine's not nearly as tasty. LOL.

    Hugs all!

  93. Yay, Myra to the rescue. I'm download your info as well.

    Thanks for all the help!

  94. Leigh,
    Thanks for adding your thoughts on the netbook. Sounds like a must for a traveling writer. I've got the 17" laptop, as well. Almost too big to take on an airplane.

    I've decided the recorder will be my next buy! Maybe an early Christmas gift to myself! :)

    Okay, a very early Christmas gift.

  95. Score one more for the Alpha!!!

    Thanks, Cheryl, for stopping by. Loved your blog pic yesterday! So fun!

  96. Wow, what great links. I leave for a few hours and have to skim through 30 Seekerville messages. LOL.
    Natural Reader sounds great.
    But right now, the food sounds better ;-)

    I'm new to One Note, but if I can point anyone in a helpful direction, I'd be glad too.
    I need things that are easily accessible, easy to learn, and CHEAP!!
    I can add all of my research pictures into it as well as links.

    It's been great.

  97. OOOOH! A digital recorder.

    My Christmas list is getting longer and longer by being here today.

    New freezer vs digital recorder.



  98. OOOOH! A digital recorder.

    My Christmas list is getting longer and longer by being here today.

    New freezer vs digital recorder.



  99. OOOOH! A digital recorder.

    My Christmas list is getting longer and longer by being here today.

    New freezer vs digital recorder.



  100. I LOVED my Blackberry. I miss it. I have a Droid now and trust me, I will NEVER get a first-generation anything in the future.

    It has quite a few annoying bugs. Once they work those out, I think it'll be a great phone. Lots of very cool apps.


    When we got stranded in South India where there were NO cell towers or electricity and two hours from any kind of phone or civilization, one team member's World version Blackberry was our ONLY form of communication with the outside world.

    I wish I still had it. LOL.


  101. GINA! LOLOLOL. I have this rug that my Mother-in_law got me. It says, "Go Away."

    We call it my deadline rug. If it's in front of my door...obey it or you might limp away bleeding. LOL!

    JK about the bleeding part. Everyone picks the locks but for some reason they're scared of the rug. LOL.

    Too funny about the locks. In that case I think I'd like to invest in an electric fence.



  102. my favourite gadget is my breadmaker. I know that sounds a bit lame, but i just love it!

  103. Great post, Debby! Thanks for all the info.

    Have to say I'm still cracking up at the image of Julie with an iPad to her ear, trying to talk to someone! LOL

    And also at Gina's poor children's faces pressed up against the glass. Would make concentration a little difficult! :)


  104. Pepper, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE OneNote!! I make a notebook for every manuscript. Have tabs for brainstorming, each character, secondary chars., premise and blurb. Also one for research.

    It's an amazing program.

  105. Julia, I love it!! My hubby is a great help too. A sounding board for ideas, plus he's great with grammar, etc.

    Oh, and he's my biggest fan and cheerleader. :)

  106. LOL, Angela! You reminded me of another gadget, my laptop cooling pad! It plugs into my computer and little fans help cool the computer (and me!). My most recent is Belkin. I've killed (aka burned up!) two others, though.

  107. Cheryl:

    I just got home from vacation Monday night. Yesterday I caught up on laundry---then CRASHED and didn't get coffee brewed. I am SOOOO sorry.


    I'm not sure where my pen with the light came from, but I think it was Best Buy.

    I couldn't find one. So I told my kids I wanted one for Christmas. Street walker boy (the mailman) came up with it.

    I plan to ask for a laptop this year!!!


    P.S. Since I got my new desktop computer, no pictures show up on these posts. Can anyone tell me how to make them visible?

  108. Myra, when I click on the link and download it, the only thing that opens is the Moral Premise document. Am I not scrolling down to find the others? I've tried but I can't seem to find anything else but Moral Premise A B C D. I must be doing something wrong.

    I'm really so 1983 in my techno-ness. Although my hair is 2010 "it's so naturally wavy, she can wash and go a year without a haircut." (That's me justifying being Low Cash. Yes, Cheryl, I read even though I didn't leave a comment. I'm currently protesting country music. Not that I have anythign against country music. Every so often I feel the need to protest something. This year is country music. Next year will probably be sugar-sweetened cereral or duct tape.)

    Myra, I'm sorry I can't figure this out. Especially becuase I want all your spreadsheets. Please help me bacause in doing so you're helping me utilize my spiritual gift of receiving. God wants you to help me.

    Cheryl, love the rug! Years ago my MIL got me a pillow that says "If I wanted your opininon, I'd have stopped talking by now."

    I used to be offended.

    Now I accept the grim reality of its truthfulness. :D

    Missy, don't feel sorry for my children. I don't. Most of the time.

  109. Check your e-mail, Gina. I know God wants you to figure this out. Let the Holy Spirit guide you as you follow my explicit instructions.

    Love ya, girl!!!!!

  110. Yay!!! With Myra's help, I figured out what I was doing wrong. Well, not doing wrong. Just not doing right.

    I had to change viewing to "full screen" and then the spreadsheet tabs appeared at the bottom of my screen.

    I'm so happy now that I might even make my kids dinner.

  111. Hey, I baked.

    Seriously baked.

    Chocolate cake. Whipped cream/custard filling.

    Fudge layer.

    More cake.

    Whipped cream topping, dusted with shaved dark Ghirardelli chocolate.

    Oh mylanta, this is good enough to eat, chicas y chicos.


    Darned gainful employment has not allowed me much playing time this week, but I always scrounge time to bake.


  112. Cheryl,
    Love your deadline that's a gadget moms need!

    I want more info about your trip to India!

  113. Hi Tony...breadmakers are great. We want French bread, some sour dough, a bagel or get the idea!

  114. Missy,
    You are so organized!!!! I'm impressed. You do all that list stuff, file stuff, chart stuff!!! Who knew?

  115. Helen,
    We need Tina to answer your question about the pics.

    Tina? Where are you?

  116. Myra, thank you, dear, for helping Gina.

    Gina, thank you for sharing what you learned from Myra so the rest of us can navigate her spreadsheets.

    Glad the kids will have a nice dinner.

    Hugs to Myra and Gina!!!

  117. Ruthy, you said you baked. But are you sharing the goodies with us? I don't see them in Cyber Space. I want a Ruthy dessert!!!

    Right now!!!!


  118. Hi Debby. It's too late for breakfast for me, but I enjoyed the post. I love technology. I'm always looking for the latest gadget to put on my wish list. What do I use? Well, here goes...

    I do use an alphasmart when I'm waiting at work for my kids occasionally, but only during the outlining or drafting phrase.

    Free and Natural reader is a program that's totally free and electronically reads text back to you. Not the best voice, but that way you don't get so wrapped up in listening to a great read and can focus more on recognizing mistakes and poor wording.

    OneNote is a program that I love to use for story planning. The program automatically saves what's typed so you don't lose info. You can print directly into OneNote from the Web. I can add lines and colors to my pages to help me visually distinguish character plans. And the program allows you to expand your story "notebook" to add as many pages as you need to for planning.

    My MIL just gave me a net book for my birthday/christmas present. (It was expensive enough that I told her not to buy me anything for Christmas.) I LOVE IT! Light, portable, accepts a flash drive and wireless mouse. The day after I got the little mini I wrote over 1300 words while waiting on my son at football camp.

    I love my iPod. Just figured out how to download ebooks on the device and I use the note feature to type out quick notes to myself about my storyline while I'm out and about and not at my laptop. No it's not an iphone and I'm too cheap to pay for internet access, but I enjoy using it nonetheless.

    Of course I have a laptop, and I love being able to move around the house with it to change setting and views while I'm working.

    I've investigated the e-readers out there, but I've not invested in that yet. I wanted the netbook more and can't say that I regret my decision.

  119. WHEW, Dianna! You've got all the gadgets!!! Good for you!

    Thanks for sharing all the info.

    We've all learned so much least, I certainly have.

    Thanks to everyone who commented or shared info about a favorite writer gadget.

    Let's keep "talking!" But a big thank you for a fun day in Seekerville.

  120. ROFLOLOL re Julie and the iPad to her ear! can't talk on it?


  121. This comment has been removed by the author.

  122. Hey Debby, awesome list! I use many of those listed except instead of an iPhone (which we can't use up here yet) I use an iTouch. It contains my Bible, Dictionary, and Thesaurus, as well as all sorts of apps like Baby Names, ScriptWrite, StoryTracker, and NovelTracker. I also use it to read back my wip plus it allows for notations on errors.

    I used to use a digital voice recorder for plotting while driving the long trips to the city, but it froze up on me. Now, I use my cell and iTouch.

    I have and use OneNote, but I'm also trying out Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method program. I'm a pantser, though and it wants answers I'm having trouble providing.

    Great post, Debby.

    Anita Mae.

  123. You really have a nice post about these gadgets. I do hope one day I'll be able to own some of them too. I'm getting tired of borrowing. :)